Desert Island Texts: Hallel – Psalm 118:22-23
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Desert Island Texts: Hallel – Psalm 118:22-23

Desert Island Texts
Desert Island Texts
Desert Island Texts
Desert Island Texts

If you were cast away on an island with just one Jewish text for company, which would you choose?

This week Geoffrey Ben-Nathan, president of Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue, selects: Hallel – Psalm 118:22-23.

The stone that the builders have rejected / has now become the corner-stone / This is the Lord’s doing / It is marvellous in our eyes.

The ‘stone that the builders have rejected’ – that stone, for me, is the Jewish state – Israel. The ‘builders’ are all those that demean, boycott, vilify and condemn Israel.

But the Jewish state has thrived in its 67 years – despite so much opposition. And it is only at the very beginning of its Jewish mission of or la-goyim (a light to the nations). For a look at this mission, visit www. verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com – in its fifth year, updated weekly and fully archived, the blog covers news of Israel’s achievements and heart-warming stories from the Jewish state.

Our Almighty is, we are told, a zealous God. None of us knows what will happen in five minutes time (or even less). But all of us are, I believe, entitled to look back at what has happened with 20:20 vision.

Looking back with 20:20 vision, I see in Israel a miracle. And I see many miracles within the miracle. Yes, it could all end tomorrow. I pray to The Almighty, it won’t.

We go to synagogue. We pray, ritually. But do we ever believe in our God being with us in the world? Modern Israel’s performance, I believe, suggests that He is.

Stranded on my desert island, I will think of these Hallel verses. They are not just two verses to utter, chant or sing – lovely though this is. For me, they are Coca Cola – the real thing! Perhaps, from now on, they might be the same for you, too.

This IS the Lord’s doing. It IS marvellous in our eyes.

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